Bird field guide > Bird watching diary > Dipper

Dipper


The Dipper (Cinclus aquaticus), though not very common, less so, indeed, than the Kingfisher, is nevertheless a resident species, finding food all through the year in the clear pools left by the tide, and also frequenting the few inland ponds, especially the rather large ones, belonging to Mr. James in the Vale, where there is always a Dipper or a Kingfisher to be seen, though I do not think the Dipper ever breeds about those waters in fact there is no place there which would suit it; but though I have never found the nest myself in Guernsey, I have been informed, especially by Mr. James, that the Dipper makes use of some of the rocky bays, forming his nest amongst the rocks as it would on the waters and rivers of Dartmoor and Exmoor.

Peter, however, writes me word he saw one in Alderney in the winter, and there seems no reason why a few should not remain there throughout the year as in Guernsey.

All the Guernsey Dippers I have seen, including 2 in the Museum, which are probably Guernsey-found, have been the common form, Cinclus aquations. The dark-breasted form, Cinclus melanogaster, may occur as an occasional wanderer, though the Channel Islands are somewhat out of its usual range. There being no trout or salmon to be protected in Guernsey, the Dipper has not to dread the persecution of keepers who imagine that it must live entirely by the destruction of salmon and trout ova, though the contrary has been proved over and over again.